Football

"I Like Keith, But That's Complete And Utter Bollocks" - MON Angered By 'Luck' Claims

"I Like Keith, But That's Complete And Utter Bollocks" - MON Angered By 'Luck' Claims

Martin O'Neill has issued a strong response to a light-hearted suggestion from former Ireland international Keith Andrews that the Derry man has been 'lucky' when it comes to playoff draws.

After avoiding Italy and Croatia, the supposed big hitters in the seeded playoff draw, Andrews jokingly suggested that Martin O'Neill was so lucky that if he fell into a pile of muck he would 'come out smelling of Old Spice'.

Andrews was not alone in his views, as former Ireland boss Brian Kerr also suggested something similar - that knowing O'Neill's luck Christian Eriksen would pick up an injury before the playoff - but speaking to the Sunday Independent, O'Neill issued an angry response to the suggestion, branding Andrews' comments 'complete bollocks', and something he was disappointed to hear from someone who was, and still is, involved in the sport.

I like Keith but, honestly, that is complete and utter bollocks. Coming from people within the game, I'm sorry but I don't take that. I remember the golfer, Gary Player, once saying that the harder he practised, the luckier he got. He won nine Major titles and it really sums it up.

I work for these things. If someone thinks I just go and throw some water around my face and come into camp, well I'm actually very good at my job. I really am.

Believe it or not, I'm better than thinking that I shouldn't get a contract here. It's not as if Ireland qualify for hundreds of competitions. They've been in this industry for some number of years and we don't qualify all the time.

I think it's forgotten that I got the team through to the Euros last year. Outside of getting well beaten by Belgium - no major surprise there - we were brilliant against both Sweden and Italy. Who knows what would have happened against France if we'd had another three days to prepare? We might have ended up in the final.

It really does seem like an overreaction from the Ireland boss.

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Andrews was not suggesting that Ireland were lucky to be in the playoffs, but O'Neill seems to have felt that the job he has done over the qualification campaign was being questioned, when it wasn't at all.

Perhaps the reaction to his contract extension - where many fans voiced their displeasure at the FAI's decision to award him a new contract before the Wales game - has seen him take a more defensive stance with things like this, and that's understandable, but poor Keith Andrews will be wondering what all the fuss is about.

[via Independent.ie]

Mikey Traynor

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